Lynden man, 40, arrested in downtown Everett manslaughter

Charles Hatem, 52, was beaten and dragged into a hallway of the Commerce Building on Hewitt Avenue.

Charles Hatem

Charles Hatem

EVERETT — An Everett man was assaulted at a downtown apartment Sept. 8 and then was dragged into the hallway to die as his brain was swelling, according to new police reports.

There also were signs that Charles Hatem, 52, was strangled, resulting in a broken bone in his neck.

A suspect in the killing was arrested Monday and made a first appearance in court Tuesday. The man, 40, is from Whatcom County and is described as homeless. He was booked for investigation of first-degree manslaughter, which means he is accused of causing a death through recklessness. Bail was set at $250,000.

Hatem was staying at the apartment, which was being rented by the suspect’s father. The suspect reportedly was upset over the living situation, which led to an argument.

Hatem’s body was found the next morning in a fifth-floor hallway of the Commerce Building on Hewitt Avenue.

An autopsy showed evidence of at least three serious blows to the head, court papers say. The death was ruled a homicide.

When police went to the scene, everyone in the apartment was asleep or passed out, including the Whatcom County man, according to the report.

He was questioned but not arrested at that point.

Detectives say they called the suspect last week to persuade him to turn himself in. He allegedly gave conflicting stories about what happened, which included claims of self-defense.

Witnesses reported that on the night of the death, the suspect had been drinking at a bar with his father before heading back to the apartment.

Police say that Hatem was alive when he was moved in the hallway and likely died, in part, because of a lack of medical attention.

After the attack, the suspect went back out to drink at two other bars, according to the report. He allegedly told multiple witnesses at those locations that he recently got out of jail and was looking at new charges for murder.

Court records show that a harassment case in Whatcom County was dismissed in August.

The Daily Herald generally doesn’t name defendants until they are charged.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @rikkiking.

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